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Pet Poison Control FAQ
To spite owners’ best efforts, pets sometimes eat foods, medications and plants that are harmful to them, and sometimes owners unknowingly let their dogs and cats eat foods that are potentially poisonous. Our veterinarian would like to help you prevent accidental poisonings in your pets.
What should I do if I think my pet has eaten something harmful?
If you suspect your pet has eaten something harmful, try to identify the substance. Look for chewed or torn packaging, missing food from tables, counters and cabinets and damaged plants. If your dog or cat has vomited, collect a sample in a plastic bag. This will help our veterinarians determine the source of the poisoning and provide countermeasures against the substance.
What plants cause poisoning in pets?
Several common household and landscaping plants can cause pet poisoning, including lilies, tulips, chrysanthemums, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias. These plants should be removed from yards and care should be taken to never bring them into the house.
What foods cause poisoning in pets?
Many foods and drinks that are safe for humans can be harmful or deadly to pets. You should never feed your dogs or cats anything containing xylitol or artificial sugar, caffeine or chocolate. Pets should also not eat grapes, raisins, cherries, hops, garlic, onions, tree nuts, salt, unbaked yeast dough or moldy or spoiled foods.
Can I give my pet medications like aspirin or Advil?
If your dog or cat is in pain, it may be tempting to give him or her half a tablet of human pain killer. However, you should resist the urge. Human medications, even in small doses can be fatal for pets. If your dog or cat has arthritis or appears to be in pain, you should call our animal hospital for advice and to make an appointment. Our veterinarians can diagnose the source of your pet’s pain and prescribe pet-safe medications.
What are the signs and symptoms of poisoning in cats and dogs?
The first sign of an accidental poisoning is torn open or damaged packaging. Symptoms of an accidental poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, excessive panting and lethargy. Accidental poisonings can cause heart, lung, liver and kidney failure.
What should I do to prevent my pet from eating or drinking a poison?
All human foods should be kept in the refrigerator, in cabinets too tall for your pets to reach or in sealed containers. Poisonous plants should be removed from your yard and home. All medications, even animal medications should be kept locked up or in sealed containers that cannot be chewed open. All herbicides, pesticides, car fluids and other chemicals should be kept behind locked doors. Doing these things will help prevent your dog or cat from eating a poison.
If you think your dog or cat has eaten a poison, call our Animal Emergency Centre at (818) 760-3882. We are open overnights during the week and 24 hours on the weekends.